More Than Ready (USA) filly Amazonian Lass gave Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott a perfect start to the Melbourne Cup carnival on Saturday and she can be the catalyst for a Group 1 winning double for the stable and jockey Tim Clark later this week at Flemington.

Amazonian Lass defeated the favourite Zardozi (Kingman) by a short-head in the Wakeful Stakes (Gr.2, 2000m) to become the 223rd black-type winner by the late, great Vinery Stud shuttler.  She’s a member of the last southern crop sired by More Than Ready and will back up in the Victorian Oaks (Gr.1, 2500m) on Thursday.

Fellow Vinery stallion All Too Hard has Alligator Blood nominated for two Group 1 events on Saturday but whether he runs in the Champions Mile (1600m) or Champion Stakes (2000m) has yet to be decided by Waterhouse, Bott and majority owner Gerry Harvey.

The Wakeful Stakes has been an amazing guide to the Victorian Oaks with 38 fillies completing the double.  Among that group is Aristia (Lonhro) who was bred by Vinery partner Greg Perry to win both in 2018

Amazonian Lass has opened at $9.50 for Thursday’s classic behind the favourite Zardozi ($3).  “She’s been working very well, eating very well and is just a happy horse,” Gai said.  “She’s a very big, strong filly and she was courageous when threatened by Zardozi in that last furlong on Saturday.  Tim is on fire, too.  He puts them in a great position.”

Amazonian Lass was bred by Sir Owen Glenn’s Go Bloodstock and he kept a managing share after the filly was knocked down for $325,000 through the Segenhoe Stud consignment at the 2022 Gold Coast Magic Millions.

She was Warwick Farm juvenile winner as was her Waterhouse-trained dam Dynastic Lady (Fastnet Rock).  Second-dam Dragon’s Tail (Galileo) also foaled Fastnet Rock’s NZ Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) winner Age Of Fire.

Meanwhile, All Too Hard’s weight-for-age champion Alligator Blood will once again go head-to-head with Mr Brightside (NZ) if tasked with defending his VRC Champions Mile crown on Saturday.  They are vying for favouritism after filling the placings in the MVRC Cox Plate.

“They’ve been sparring partners all spring and the Cox Plate was such a fabulous race with great horses going toe-to-toe,” Waterhouse added.  “They are the crème de la crème.  Alligator Blood reminds me of Juggler and Grand Armee.  They have an amazing determination and will to win and that’s hard to find.”

Vinery stands All Too Hard for $38,500 (inc GST) payable on a live foal.  For bookings or further information, contact Adam White (0414 800 918) or Harry Roach (0401 970 006).